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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  February 27, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST

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and the whole media landscape is much more embattled now. there was no such thing as a media critic and abe rosenthal's age most of his age editing a paper. media critic started to pop up in the mid-to late 1970s and they became ubiquitous. it gets nailed by everybody, all of its mistakes are exposed immediately. i think this is another important change. i going to sam that the times did not make mistakes in the 1950s and 60s.
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i assume rather that they were exposed by endless numbers of media critics and bloggers. another point about the so-called golden age. speaking of criticisms of the times from the left eye can promise you that one could write a book and people have written books like bill's they take the times mac to test from the liberal side with just as much fervor inciting nearly as many examples. bill cites a couple in the book that liberal critics hell rains for example of which i was one and he quotes me accurately as having criticized his editorial page when he was running the editorial page in the clinton years. and the editorial page is an important example. this was not the times being a partisan democrat paper by me stretch of imagination. liberals were furious at the time. howell raines was on some type
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of personal jihad against bill clinton and brin -- i did a count once and now i'm not remembering that i wrote a piece in the nation about this in about 1999 or 2000. i think it was late 1999. you can look it up if you want to, but far, far more editorials criticizing bill clinton than criticizing ken star and his prosecutorial tactics. the paper broke the whitewater story. i will finish up in a couple of minutes. the paper broke the whitewater story. if you kept on clinton pretty hard. throughout his time in office. the paper more recently broke the eliot spitzer story. david paterson is another democrat that but it didn't go soft on. i can cite a lot more examples than that. also on the subject of the war, it is a much more pungent
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criticism in my mind that the "times" like most american newspapers and news outlets published far more stories, basically taking the administration's line through back round quotes like the famous judy nor stories and there were many many many more. bennett ran critical of the administration's arguments for war against iraq. bill cites this too, to his credit, piece by michael matthew in "the new york times" books. so their many criticisms to be made from the left of "the new york times." what does it all led up to? bill taylor would say i guess, not without justification, that if we are being attacked like this from both sides maybe that tells us that if we are making those sites mad we are doing something right.
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i will conclude by saying that i still think on balance, whatever its errors, it is an excellent excellent newspaper. has anybody in this room quit reading the times -- betimes back on principle? okay, all right, okay. let the record show that out of 80 people here we have got about eight hands. alright, that is something. but by and large, i don't think anybody quit reading the times times -- the "times" after jason player and very few people quit reading the "times" after terry many of these things. is still a great paper. if you are trying to keep up what was going on in cairo and not reading the "times" you are missing something. their coverage is great. yes it is excellent. it is very good for democracy. [applause] >> thanks mike.
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we have 10 or 15 minutes now to exchange rebuttals. >> i would like to ask michael one question that involves the issue of double standards. michael once famously wrote in american prospect blog piece the headline of which keller must go and also suggested that arthur sulzberger jr. who i do not call pinch because they think like arthur sulzberger jr. says, a man should own his own -- earn his own derogatory nickname. he took his from his father, punch. but i would like to know having done that, how you have gotten both your books reviewed. you were the subject of a very glowing profile in 2006 about young liberals sort of fighting
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back. meanwhile, i have been blacked out twice and both of my books, the first time the editor of the book review was a adult enough to actually go on the record to the "san francisco chronicle" and say the reason we are not reviewing this book or i'm not sure we should review this book is because i'm not sure it his it is proper to review a book that is so critical, a book about a newspaper like this that is so critical of the newspaper like this. the second time i was promised a review and then the editor invoke some kind of policy squabble he was having with my publisher. as a fig leaf i sent it just so he could avoid the headaches with his boss. so we have to say that in terms of ideological the percentage and i go into the book in terms of the politics of the times book review and media that the "times" fonts on left liberal
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journalists and media and authors and either ignores or insults those coming from the right. i don't particularly think i am coming from the right of my criticism from the "times." i think i'm coming from the point of view of good journalism. michael said may be there is 200 stories of a pickup. this was a charge i went there last time with covering the news, that i was cherry-picking. one of the reasons why i decided to pile up example upon example is i wanted to show they were representative. i did not do a quantitative study that would determine the representation, but i think people got the drift that when you pile these up more and more, but this is the norm rather than the exception. as to this point that the "times" was at one point during its golden age all male and all
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white is probably churned. i agree, there are always problems in nostalgia. i don't know who said it. i wish i had my google here, but nostalgia is the rest of memory. was it shakespeare? yes, yes. thank you google. [laughter] that being said, i think michael misses my point when i am critical of diversity. i am not as critical of diversity as personnel policy. as long as it is within the law. what i am critical about diversity, two things, and fred use this phrase once, mandated diversity where the state comes in and says you have to have a certain quota, a certain number. i am more concerned with diversity as an ideological policy, where it leads out into
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the news coverage, where it translates into a kind of solicitude toward minorities, where it translates into a kind of demographic triumphalism, where it translates into endorsing the politics of proportionalism, set-asides, quotas, university admissions, where it translates into vilifying those who are trying to roll back affirmative action programs such as ward connerly in california, prop 200? 209. connerly was the subject of an extremely insulting and demeaning magazine story, the gist of which was he wasn't black enough and he was a self hating black and that is why he was leading the effort to roll back affirmative action in california. horrible, horrible story.
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the effort to raise standards at cuny in 1997 was interpreted by bob herbert, a columnist at the "times" as ethnic cleansing because it was felt that minorities wouldn't be able to qualify if open admissions was terminated and standards were put in place that would make them have to attend either remedial classes or community college's first. so that is my trust of diversity. the other that i have with diversity is and i think as a progressive michael should be concerned about this, is the idea of community is very much a progressive value. it is also a conservative value as well. it cuts both ways. the humanitarian movement in america does not have a red state, blue state divide.
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it has pat buchanan in some ways and it has the saul sol soleh linskey's successors on the other. but it is interesting how robert putnam the famous sociologist at harvard, who wrote the report and later the book, bowling alone about social isolation in america had been working for a number of years on assessing the impact of diversity on civic engagement and democratic for dissipation. he did not like the results he got. essentially, he said that it places with the most diversity in america where those with the lowest levels of social trust, the lowest levels of social engagement. people tended to hunker down and basically became couch potatoes. they didn't go out and go to the local cake sale or join the
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rotary or the knights of columbus or whatever have you. community life withers and people tend to hunker down in order to escape the friction that develops and excessively diverse places. yet, the times promotes diversity as an aggressive creed and this is not just diversity as a personnel possibly -- policy but diversity is the demographic reality. you have charles pelot one of the columnists who says to the tea party you want your country back but you are not going to get it, welcome to america, the remix. i think it is that kind of demographic triumphalism and that exultation of diversity and the cult of ethnicity that is not only bad for democratic life but it is bad for progressivism itself. i could enumerate that and i hope to write about this more. many progressives today are actually regressive progressive sand when it comes to
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particularly when it comes to customs and practices dealing with islam. i would like to say that another thing, just about the adoption because i think it borders a little bit on a canard. i am all for marriage. i grew up across the street from a couple, george and jim. at that time they had a woman living with them who turned out to be a bag lady that they brought up in suburban 1960s westchester for cover. are kindergarten teachers in the town that i grew up in hudson turned out to be gay since they retired they ran up their rainbow jolly rogers lag and nobody seemed to care. gay adoption, gay parenting, i don't think the research is in firm enough. that is not to say that i think
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kids should spend time in foster care. without parenting, but the point that michael should read this section closer, my point is that research is not as complete as it needs to be and the stories that have been written about gay parenting and gay adoption are just doggerel. there are two magazine stories in particular that were just almost impossible to get through and i think reflective of the confusion that the issue generates itself. so, anyway that is what i have to say for now. >> are retrying to finish this whole event by 8:00? i should answer your question first. actually they didn't review my first book, so there is exhibit a a out the window. well i did do that, yeah mckechnie i and i can't even remember where i was.
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they sat on the nsa story for a year. well, what can i say? i did it. they did review my second book, but reputed kind of unfavorably so you may be lucky. as for the profile, the fawning profile, it wasn't really a profile -- well, yeah, okay. it was a sidebar but i will tell you,. >> it had your picture in it. >> it had my picture in it, that's true. it had my picture and i had less gray hair. i saw that picture recently. but look, i wrote an essay in the american prospect. in my first remarks i was talking about this concept of the common good. i wrote this essay in the common prospect. i don't know why they decided to do this. i guess you may, you have a hypothesis and you don't know for a fact. you may be right that they were
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the would appease that talked about what influenced my essay was having around washington. in fact that was kind of objectively true. i do want to sound a modest but in liberal circles in washington what i wrote was being talked about a lot so i -- they ran a picture, it is true. but my record with books is in very good. what do i want to say? i think just to talk a little bit more about the problem of diversity. yeah i see the distinction between newsroom diversity as a policy and diversity as an ideological whatever you said -- and ideological drum. i do see that distinction, and i guess you know sometimes, sometimes the times quinoa lapses into a bad direction on
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that point. but, we are in a period in period in this country's history where we are having deeply, deeply contested battles on every front, not just in the pages of "the new york times," but everywhere about diversity as a value. and, it does to some extent -- it doesn't leave much room for nuance. i am one who has tried to dude nuance on this question over the last 15 years or so. we have worked out you know, the way i would have liked it to work out. we are in a historical period where we are fighting this question tooth and nail every day and i do think that some of the reaction to the obama
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presidency has to do with these kinds of questions, and i'm not going to throw javelins of accusations about tea parties and race. i'm not going to sit here and do that and i think there is no question that there are in our media, there are representations of two americas and they are very intensely at odds with each other. not all americans, by the way. it is like 30% of americans on the side and 30% of americans on this side and the other 40% of americans are somewhere in the middle and sort of agree with both sides here and there and actually i think those 40% tend more to agree with the progressive side than they do with the conservative side. otherwise, "the new york times" would be losing circulation like this, and there would have been a value judgment made by society at large if "the new york times" was failing the country. i don't think that judgment has been made by the citizens of this country. i don't think it has been made by the media consumers of this
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country. "the new york times" stock is in a different position and they are having whatever difficulties they have, but they are still selling a million whatever copies a day and they are selling a lot more copies than say the "washington times," which is maybe the right-wing equivalent. if "the new york times" is everything the bill says it is, then it's opposite numbers this paper, the "washington times," which some of you may not even know exists, but it was started by reverend moon 30 years ago and it exists because he is willing to lose whatever he loses on thatit, $30 million a year but whatever them number is, astonishing amount of money over the years. they have never gotten their circulation that i am aware of about 100,000 let alone 1 million. so conservatives like to let the free market test decide things. the free markets decide. "the new york times" is a
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success in the "washington times" is not as much of the success and it is sudden urge are written -- under written by an extremely wealthy man. that is my conclusion. >> there are mics. if you want to talk, move into the aisle, and just tell us who you are, what organization you are connected to and ask a brief question. michael, stand up. >> i am michael myers. i am the executive director of the rights coalition. i want to ask michael to mosque he a question about diversity because i don't think he has got the point. the point is that you can hire a minority, hire people who are not blades without any notion of standards, ethical standards of
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journalism. so the complaints about david blair were not that he was high because he was black, but because the editor, the white male editors and people above, brought their standards anna didn't check and didn't treat him as they would treat anybody else who is a journalist because he was black and secondly with respect to diversity in the newsroom, as bill was talking about in terms of coverage -- maki don't cover people you know. a lot of the new reporters and particularly the black reporters reporters -- i'm asking a question. particularly the black reporters have been hired to replace you about racing community and they cover, blacks cover blacks, blacks kober civil rights and it is in the paper people who don't agree with them. >> lets gather a few questions and then turn the questions over to -- yes, sir.
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>> michael white. my question is about cognitive systems. is the "times," for whatever it is, wherever it is, earnest and philosophically consistent or is it making calculated decisions about its financial survival and the example i will give you on this is i have had a lot of real estate development and associated politics and as i they go back in time, and look at the coverage of eminent domain abuse issues or for instance the columbus circle development, and i compared to their coverage of what i think is a very big story, atlantic yards, which has to do with a real estate partner, bruce rattner, and it takes place after they engaged in buying a building with eminent domain for
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their new headquarters. i don't see consistency. speak and i take that question? >> do you want to answer both of these now? >> you are getting into some of the contradictions, some would say hypocrisy between the values that the "times" preaches on its editorial page and its behavior is a corporate entity with the bottom line and a wall street profile. some of it, aside from that use of eminent domain to create space for its new headquarters, an issue such as executive over conversation -- overcompensation and the times has railed and railed about that in the papers inevitably on its editorial page and inevitably reports surfaced in the news report about it. however, even though corporate governance is one of arthur
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sulzberger's jr.'s hobbyhorses the "times" executives are way overcompensated. is a matter of fact there have been movements on the board to suggest that they give their bonuses back and they have. so that is one thing. opening up this question to this larger issue of the "times" finances, michael you are wrong. the times does not -- is not read by a million people a day any more. the circulation just felt this quarter, 7.3%, bringing it down below 1 million for the first time since the mid-80s, and in terms of the market test, whether the "times" is successful or not, i do not think that the "washington times" mack -- the "washington times" is the correct
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doppelgänger or comparison. i think the correct comparison is "the wall street journal," which outstrips sales and circulation of the "times" on a national basis and by the way i was surprised michael goodwin of the "new york post" took me recently that the "times" is only read or red or bots by 200,000 people it new york. it really staggered me. i think that they really have, actually since the golden age, towards the end of that golden age they were faced with huge financial difficulties, white flight and municipal problems of the city were causing in conjunction with the new a litter see where you had college graduates who just didn't have a gene for public affairs and didn't read the "times" any more. i haven't spent my life in academia.
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but they were market testing. they were running focus groups. i believe a lot of their -- i mean they have two sections, a thursday in the sunday style section. they are expanding their soft news, their consumer news, their lifestyle news. a lot of their coverage is driven by demographics and marketing, so yes, i think the financial concerns do, although they would like to admit it, they have to. financial concerns determine how they cover and how they write about it. >> the point taken about "the wall street journal" but the reason i mention the "washington times" bill is if "the new york times" is what you say shot through in its news columns with subjectivity and bias, i don't think that is "the wall street journal" yet. it is just its editorial page
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but that is the "washington times" so in that sense the "washington times" is double to "the new york times." that is what i meant. michael myers, i take your point i'm only talking about your second . i'm ignoring your first . look, maybe black reporters have a point of view about a black neighborhood. maybe that is true. white reporters due due too. white reporters always did. now this gets to one of the core questions about the whole history of diversity and multiculturalism in this country that is very key to the whole debate. was the old pre-diversity point of view in america and american institutions -- was a some default purely objective point of view that was civic with the c. mac and completely the rest,
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rest, deracinated of any kind of bias at all, or was it just the point of view of the men who happen to run that thing back then, and it had its own biases? its own subjectivities. this is a very important question that is very hotly debated. i will stop there. >> when i was doing my graduate work, i extensively used "the new york times." my dissertation was on city state relations and "the new york times" coverage over a period of 50 or 60 years was terrific, subject. now i want to address you about today, and i am talking from the standpoint of my piece of diversity. i am italian, italian american,
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and i am roman catholic and i take both of those things very seriously. i am wondering, as a reader of "the new york times," whether you think that i can trust the integrity and honesty of the newspaper when it covers subjects such as those relating to my ethnicity and my religion? reporting on those in a fair and accurate and a trustworthy way? >> what would you think of by said yes, frank? [inaudible] [laughter] >> i am actually half italian
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but it is true that i'm not catholic, but i am part italian. look, i don't know. i don't read every word of their coverage of those issues. i assume to some extent you are talking about the problems with the catholic church and the child-abuse thing. well, i can't speak, okay, i won't speak to the particulars of the times that coverage of that issue. it it is not fresh enough in my mind. but bill can do that i am sure. but i would just make the point that you know, those things apparently did happen. there are certain realities in the world that "the new york times" didn't create. we did go into iraq on the basis that we are going to find weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. "the new york times" didn't create that reality. the catholic church is having these problems. "the new york times" didn't create that reality. >> i i am not a time but i'm catholic. i grew up with a lot of italians and in dating one.
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so i will have to pass on the italian thing. i do think though that in terms of the diversity calculus inside the newsroom the times has not followed through on that. it doesn't have its representatives, italian reporters and editors in the same way that it hasn't representative african-american or latino. it is not part of the mix. i think they have lump white ethnics into one big mass. and a catholic thing, i won't go as far as bill donohue and say that -- bill donohue who is the president or chairman or executive director of the catholic league that thinks the "times" is a deeply bigoted newspaper against catholics. i won't go as far as archbishop dolan in saying that, but i will say that the "times" often seem
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distant from the realities of catholicism. right after i published coloring the news, the second wave of the church sex scandal broke and i was on radio and tv a lot being asked questions about this. and having gone to catholic schools, including a very good catholic high school, then archbishop stefan akin white plains now cardinal stepan mack having diocesan priests some of whom were brought up on charges or however you want to put it, knowing some of my schoolmates who had bad experiences, some of whom actually sued, that the narrative carried in the times was much different from my own personal experience.
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donohue puts it rather bluntly when he puts the catholic church doesn't have a pedophilia problem. it as a problem. verse about the use of the term pedophilia to describe that scandal was inaccurate, because most of the victims up to 90% were postpubescent which qualifies as pederasty as the romans called it. excuse me? thank you henry. you are always good for the singers. so i think the use of the term pedophilia and i had an argument with hill o'reilly on the factor about this, and of course he was always very bluff and didn't have much patience for the nuance but i think it is important because essentially it
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made these priests who were abusing their authority and power and influence over these kids to be baby molesters as opposed to people who were abusing their power and influence over these kids who were postpubescent 14, 15. in one case there was a kid in my high school who wound up suing who claimed he was, his molestation started when he was 17 and continued until he was a junior at holy cross. and i remember the first day, going to my high school where an assembly they said look, you are 14, in ninth grade freshman year. most of you are 14 and others will be 14 sinned. heuer men now. if you are responsible for the choices and decisions you make and that is the generational perspective that has changed much and maybe it was a
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smokescreen but what i'm saying is that i think the way the "times" reported that scandal was completely off. >> we want to get a couple more questions than. >> my name is eric wortman. it is another facet to the diversity question. i think most of us would agree that the "times" is very much a paper of a particular social class. i know you might call it the golden age. when i was reading the paper in the 1970s, and i was see the ads for boarding schools and summer camps, i knew that wasn't quite where i was at in reality and i think the question i have is, a question, statement and i want your response. i feel that the "times" approach to diversity is reflective of the social class.
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the fact that they have made it a shibboleths out of it is reflective of the social background. when you say the newsroom was 98% white i think there is reason why that was. most of us i think in this room as you say it is "the new york times." most of us in new york live diversity. we work with people. we are related to people they are idea of ethnic and racial backgrounds but in the "times" environment, that is still a bit exotic and does that affect their approach? >> one more question and then we will go to the gentlemen here. >> put the microphone up to your mouth. >> a question i have is, how can you talk for more than an hour
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and not mentioned the run-up to the iraq invasion, with the garbage put out by judith miller. she had editors. >> let me interrupt you. that is has come up repeatedly. you weren't paying attention. let's get another question. >> if i could just add something. >> judy miller's reporting by itself did not drive us into iraq. >> israel and the palestinians. not a word. >> that is outside of the purview of my book. i have mostly focused on domestic issues. yes? >> bring the mic to the gentlemen here please. >> hi, i am a former publisher of publishers weekly. it seems to me that you could list 200 stories that you did in the "times" as well as the 200 stories you didn't like and on
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balance, you would have a newspaper that makes mistakes and did newspaper that newspaper that does well. >> you can do that and come back a couple of years from now if you spend as much time as i did and let's see what you have. >> well i have to tell you that i have read the "times" all my life. >> and have you. >> and let me say that having been a publisher of a periodical, i take a real interest, or i become a student of anything i've read. it also includes "the wall street journal." "the wall street journal" since murdoch has taken over, while it's certainly still remains an excellent paper, has considerable leakage and what they are covering and what they are now doing and what they used to do in and their golden age is gone as well. but, i don't see, as against the
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grand notion that it is not good for democracy. you have listed what seems to me nitpicking and haven't addressed the big grand issue about whether the "times" is good for democracy or not. what i heard like this gentleman here is they didn't like the coverage of the the catholic church. >> i want to get a couple more questions in. >> i think it is more than nitpicking. >> hold on a minute. let me get a couple more questions and then answer fred. anyone else want to ask a question? >> henry. henry is required to ask a question. it is in the city charter. [laughter] >> you did nasa question which i think is very important which constitutes rule 18i in our
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rules, and that question is is it good for the jewish? [laughter] no one spoke about that and that is the anti-israel side. i would just like to hear what you think. >> since we have two non-jewish here i'm sure they will have interesting answers, but we are coming to the end of the evening. why don't i give each of you gentlemen a few minutes to just sort of wrap up and give us your thoughts and then we will let people go home and get dinner. go ahead, it. i'm sorry. i thought you were handing the microphone to other people. >> i have two very quick questions. i am edward hoffman, i am fred's -- i wish this would have
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been entitled if the times were still reading. two things. what about philosophy? you asked if people give up their "times" subscription. i did as a result of what i thought was disgraceful reporting and commentary regarding the tee paired -- tea party and the congressman being shot in arizona. it was journalism at its worst and i'm wondering that keeps bleeding into the rest of the editorials and actually i don't think reading the editorial page is worth any more. the second is regarding accuracy. ever friend, who is serving in iraq and a number of years ago the new york times, when the mess was really happening reported there had been a terrible attack which involved the shooting. apparently with the "times" was doing was -- that in one leave the safety of that debt. they got a report in they ran with it so i wish i could believe what they say is going
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on in cairo. between their editorial page going off the wall and the fact that i couldn't trust among other stories i'm wondering if the "times" is any more worthy of being read than any other paper? [applause] >> let's get freddie's question. >> i have a quick question for michael. there seems to be sort of a given. >> sorry, who are you sir? >> my name is gavin mccann not. there seems to be a given here that all races, genders and sexual preference need equal distribution at any news source in order to give a solid picture of what the news is and no one has ever said why. that just seems to be an accepted fact and i don't understand why that is. it seems to me that "the new york times" was white male in the 70s and it was more accurate than it is today since we came up with this agenda where everyone has to be equally
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represented. but to me reporting seems like a very esoteric hirsute. i want to go look at an event, use the english language to document it, recorded properly, who what where, when and why. why does everyone have to do this equally? it seems like insisting -- all dance hall performers are from the midwest and we should have some single moms and there. >> while we take five minutes to answer this gentleman's questions and the two prior questions. >> to the issue of nitpicking, i can say that if you come back, if you think you could find something through the same rigorous process of several years, more power to you. i don't think you well. as to the question of whether someone's ethnic or racial identity makes them a better reporter on any given subject, i
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would say there is a question in certain, uncertain stories of access. whether it is the identity and the access translates into better reporting is a different story. i spent two years in sri lanka reporting on the civil war there. i spoke one of the local languages, but in no i think i did just as well as anybody who would have gone there who happen to be the salvation background. i don't think you need to be of a certain ethnicity or race or color, and that i object to. i don't mind giving people a break. i don't mind you know, giving you know, the opportunity that anybody deserves but at the same time i don't think that we
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should have beats that are reserved for certain races. my experience is a doesn't either. it just creates resentment and is bad journalism. >> what you have to say to a's question about tucson? >> i have a lot to say about that. i think that it was deeply unfortunate that the "times" led the pack in assuming that it was political in nature. paul krugman's blog on january 8 was that? the incident happened on january 8 and then january 9 heap logged something to the effect of we don't have proof yet that this was political but odds are that it was and there were other journalist who took their cues from matt.
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i am concerned about the tone of civic and civil discourse in this country and i think that the tea partiers are probably -- have more violent rhetoric but the liberal and progressive side has its own problem with this, and i can "u right now. frank rich, who get no calls americans who wouldn't take on the issue of torture at gitmo good germans who called john ashcraft the best goebbels of them all. krugman, who equated committed religious believers with islamic extremists, maureen dowd who equated the male domination of the catholic church the taliban, who said that because christian, the christian right would stand
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for stirring the push of administration that we really are in a theocracy. they are there is on the shootea anti-immigration or anti-illegal immigration law was met by linda greenhouse with an image that came out of nazi germany. so you know, i think that the "times" and the left have a lot to answer for too and maybe this is because of the internet. maybe people want to get more attention but i think that this subtracts from the gravitas and the credibility of these people by using terms like that. >> mike what what you take a the last word? >> okay. bea, i'm against nazi analogies in most cases unless you can make a really really precise analogy about something that the government of nazi germany did that you are seeing today. if you can make a precise analogy and make it stick than okay, it is fair game. but going around calling people
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goebbels i don't think is a good idea. i actually criticized the democratic congressman who recently did that, wrote a piece that was very critical of him. you know, i guess i will just return to the question and -- did he leave? there you are. you know i don't think anybody says that there has to be equal numbers. i don't think anybody says that if there is 42% of the population is x than 42% of the newsroom has to be x. i don't think anybody really says that what i do think that what people say is that on balance, it is better to make an effort to have this kind of newsroom diversity and to represent different ideas and points of view. i have been on the end of running a magazine and in trying to achieve that and you know it
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is pretty hard to do, and you have to put effort into it. >> it is hard to do for liberals. [laughter] >> young lady would you please keep quiet in the first row? >> but it is worth doing. to get to the question -- there is a question we are here to answer. democracy has to be an orchard by the civic institutions that we depend on to inform us and to do that nurturing. part of that sustenance is providing information in an unbiased way, an unbiased way as possible. but inevitably, inevitably some
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value judgments about what kind of society we have and want to have has to be made. now, any newspaper, "the new york times," the "guardian," any so-called straight news outfit, any of the networks, anything like that, have to be very careful about balancing those two things. but i think it is legitimate to try to balance those two things. i don't think you know, we want news organizations to be completely morally neutral on moral questions of our time. now "the new york times" might made a lot of mistakes along those lines but on balance, i think it is trying to do a fair job. >> thank you, mike. before i thank both of our
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speakers i just want to say that bill's book gray lady down is outside for anyone who would like to purchase it. i would be glad to have my's books out there too but they are all of the day. his magazine is democracy and he has a web site. thank you. [applause] i never said, can i just say if you go to that you can go to a comments section and go to comment and look around on that page you will find my blog. actually have a lot of conservative commenters to really give it to me so you can join the parade. you can watch this and other programs on line at >> there is a new on line enterprise just starting up and it is called the washington
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independent review of books. david stewart is the precedent of this organization. mr. stewart, what is your organization? >> guest: while it is a group of writers and editors and similarly minded people mostly in the d.c. area who are very dismayed by the shriveling of book review space and sort of the standard media. a lot of book review sections have been folded. they have shrunk and it is just harder to find information about what is going on in the world in the books these days, the coverage of the publishing industry has shrunk. so we decided to try to do something ourselves. this is really sorter from the old judy garland mckee rooney movies where they say let's put on a show. we decided we would create her own book review and there are about 70 of us engaged in it. we have just launched and have had a great response.
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it has been a lot of fun and very gratifying. >> host: what kinds of books will you be reviewing on the side? >> guest: a wide range. we are going to really review fiction and nonfiction. we suspect for now we are not going to be looking at children's books and we won't be look at romance literature. but beyond that, we are quite open and we will be reviewing recently released books. we hope to get our reviews up within the first 30 to 45 days after publication. so you can come to us for current information about what are the new books out there. >> host: now can people submit books to be reviewed as well? >> guest: we would rather not get the books but they can certainly bring them to our attention because we will have to decide if we want to review them and you can get a lot of looks that way. they are hard to deal with, so we certainly invite people to e-mail us, bring their books or
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attention and send us their publicity packets, so we know in plenty of time that it is coming and we can decide whether it is one we want to take a shot at reviewing. >> host: mr. stewart you said a lot of your reviewers and people involved in the washington independent review of books have backgrounds in writing and publishing. what is your background and give us a snapshot of some of the people who will be participating. >> guest: well, my background is i was a lawyer for many years but i am now an author and have done a couple of hooks on american history, one on the writing of the constitution in the summer of 1787 and one on the impeachment trial of andrew johnson and i have a new one coming out this fall on aaron burr's western conspiracy called american emperor. emperor. the other folks involved comp from journalism. there are book writers as well. we have been so lucky and recruiting reviewers. we have got a book on the
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eichmann trials in israel. we were able to get judge patricia wald's who was on the war crimes tribunal for yugoslavia. we have been able to get a leading constitutional scholar, irwin chemerinsky to look at a first amendment book for us. we have just had a terrific response from people. just as an example pauline maier at m.i.t. who has a wonderful book out about the ratification of the constitution is going to review a new book on the revolution by gordon wood, so we have really been able to get top-notch reviewers and it is an exciting thing. you know everybody in this operation works for the same amount of money. nobody is paid and that includes a review or so it is wonderful to see people willing to pitch in to create this conversation about the world of books which is really what we are all about. >> host: and there has been a
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decline in traditional media review of books but on line there is quite an active marketplace of reviewers. what do you bring to the table that is different? >> guest: well i think we are going to bring the depth and the quality of our reviewers. we also are doing features. we are going to have author interviews and q&a's. if a couple of radio interviews of partners who will be putting a podcast, so we will provide a full range of information and they think you know, the other operations that are trying to do the same thing are doing the lord's work as well and i certainly support what they're up to, but i think there is room for a lot of voices. that is important when you are reviewing books, that there are a lot of voices. you are not just duck with one or two reactions to a new book, which may be idiosyncratic in their reactions. >> host: will you be looking at politically slanted books as well and will you be looking at
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those books from the left and from the right and from the middle? >> guest: of course. we are predominantly with washington area writers. we have a lot of interest in political and historical topics and we will take them all on from every point on the spectrum. >> and how often we be putting up new material? >> guest: we will have new content up every day. either a new interview or a new review. in the early days we are trying not to set the bar too high for ourselves but as time goes on we expect the content to become richer and richer and we are really looking forward to that. >> host: mr. stewart you say on your web site that you got your seed money to the aiw freedom to write fund. what is that? >> guest: is associated with american independent writers which is a writers organization here in the d.c. area and the
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freedom to write fund is a 501(c)(3) 501(c)(3) that is affiliated with aiw and we have done very modest fund-raising and we need to do more. but enough to get us up and running and it has been a great sponsorship. >> host: david stewart is the president of the washington independent review of looks. washington independent review of is the web site. >> this coming monday booktv will be live on line on the six and i historic synagogue in washington d.c.. palestinian dr. izzo been abu laois calls for an end to the bloodshed between israelis and palestinians.
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coming up emily lambert senior writer for "forbes" magazine examines the history and purpose of the order trade mercantile exchange and other futures markets. she speaks said afterward mack bookstore in chekhov though. it is about 45 minutes. [applause] >> i am much more comfortable interviewing people that i am speaking, so i am sure that will come up very quickly by thank you for coming. thank you to beverly for having
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us abandoned for hosting it. this just happens to be my favorite bookstore. i have like many a book here and i love coming here and of course it turns out that beverly has a connection to this industry because in chicago, who doesn't? i started talking to her and she said oakley guess my uncle grew up with leo and that i


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